A Neonatologist is a surgeon that performs surgery on newborns and infants. They are trained specifically to handle the most complex and high-risk situations. Since they work with such high-risk situations, they are often working at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
- You need to be good under pressure
- You need to be CPR certified
- You need to be able to stand blood
- You need to be able to work quickly
- You need to be good at Algebra, Biology, and Chemistry
- At least 4 years of medical school
- 3 years of residency training in general pediatrics
- 3 years of additional training in newborn intensive care
- Certification from the American Board of Pediatrics and by the Sub-board of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
During the first year of medical school, students take courses in anatomy, human behavior, microbiology and histology. They also learn about cell function, immunology and clinical decision-making. These studies help prepare students to function as effective physicians in clinical settings such as hospitals, clinics, and private practice offices.
During the second year of medical school, intensive scientific study continues throughout the year. Students take courses studying the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems, clinical medicine and pathology. Additionally, several courses in pharmacology are required as essential preparation for diagnosing conditions and prescribing medications. Students also study the reproductive and respiratory systems. As part of their education, they learn how to assess patients during interviews and examinations.
Clinical internship work is the highlight of the third and fourth years of medical school. Students complete six-week rotations in pediatrics, surgery, family medicine, gynecology and psychology. Commonly, rotations are assigned so students gain experience working different shifts. Additionally, most programs require students to complete a 12-week internship in which they learn basic principles of treating patients under the supervision of an experienced physician.
Once the medical school requirements are complete, students begin to concentrate in their area of specialization. Neonatology students must first complete a pediatric internship and residency. This pediatric focus entails hands-on clinical work in hospitals, physician offices or clinics. Students are observed throughout and must pass medical board examinations in the first and final years. After they complete the pediatric specialization, it is time to begin a neonatology fellowship. This period of study and practice takes three years to complete. A final medical board examination is required as the last step in the journey.
Neonatologists make anywhere from $130k to $270k a year. When starting out, the salary will be roughly $160k in the 25% and after years, your salary will slowly progress to approximately $200,151 in the 50%
Getting a job as a Neonatologist in a local hospital is very easy because very few people think of being a baby doctor whenever they're going into the medical field.
Although there are many Neonatology jobs open in the U.S, there are only about 2,992 Neonatologists. (From records shown in December of 2000)
A career in Neonatology is very promising. There are about 102 3-year Neonatology in the U.S., with approximately 150 physicians in each year of training.
Benefits of being a Neonatologist
Being a Neonatologist provides being in a line of work to where you get to be around babies all day.
Being a Neonatologist also gives you a chance to make a change in the world by helping ill babies become healthy again.
Aside from the babies, the Neonatology salary pays extremely well.
The two closest careers to a Neonatologist are a Neonatal Nurse, and an OB/GYN.
NEONATAL NURSE: A neonatal nurse is a nurse that works in the nursery and watches over them until its time for the babies to go back to their mother.
OB/GYN (Obstetrician): An Obstetrician is a physician who is specialized in education and training in the management of pregnancy, labor, and pueperium (The time period directly following child birth).
OB/GYN (Gynecologist): A Gynecologist is a physician specialized in education and training in the health of the female reproductive system, including the diagnosis of disorders and diseases. Typically, the training and education for both Obstetrician and Gynecologist occur currently
Why am I interested?
Ever since I was young, I have wanted to do something in the medical field. However, I didn't know what I wanted to do in it. My interests continuously changed between an OB/GYN, a Neonatal Nurse, and a Neonatologist. After doing research on all three, I decided on a Neonatologist because I would love to be able to help premature and ill babies grow into healthy children.